Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Charles City County, Virginia has been the target of several large developmental proposals in recent years. Two of these proposed projects, the C4GT and Chickahominy natural gas power stations, have faced opposition from residents of Charles City County and people across the state who are concerned about the environmental impacts and health risks associated with fossil fuel infrastructure. These proposed power plants are part of an extensive assemblage of infrastructure: an uneven built network of physical and affective relationships brought together through contingencies which involves human and non-human parts and facilitates the distribution of resources and people around the world (Bennett 2005). From March 2020 until the present, I have conducted ethnographic research investigating the contention surrounding the two power plants in Charles City County, primarily through digital fieldwork. I focus on the ways that space, knowledge, and futurities are invoked and produced in the various relationships and interactions that constitute this contention. I argue that the two facilities reflect the uneven distribution of infrastructure both locally (in Charles City County) and around the world, which produces environmental injustice in patterns that reflect unequal social differences produced in racial capitalism. Additionally, I argue that the contention surrounding these two plants represents a more general contention about how the effects of fossil fuel infrastructure are defined and who gets to define them that is reflected across the world.
Emmett, Mads, "Contentious Vulnerability: Infrastructure, Assemblages, and Environmental Justice Communities" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1661.